Grandpa Lawson's Visit 1st Aired Week of 5/17/86

Ted has the unenviable task of explaining to his unwary Vicki-doting father, who bitterly lost his job to automation, that his new lovely adopted granddaughter is really a robot.
Horseyride This much underrated semi-poignant episode received lots of approving fan mail across the spectrum that hinted of Small Wonder's greater sociological plot potentials. Since stories such as this one can't be copied by other sitcoms, Small Wonder had a corner on unique themes that it failed to exploit. Bill and Martha Lawson would've co-starred with Brissette's dual role or another young actress in the series' aborted Too Good To Be True spin-off, though one would think being saddled with Vanessa wouldn't have helped Bill's heart condition at all! Vicki's Grandparents

The currently attainable concept of Vicki-like android robots that can take the place of expensive porcelain dolls in the hearts of those who go into hock collecting such, or supplanting pets or even being surrogate grandchildren became a lot more tangible to the staff by the fan response. That senior fan mail showed they most doted this episode boistered this observation (See Why Seniors Doted on Vicki). From the writers' circle standpoint this rather watered-down comedy/drama reaffirmed the show's potential and seeded ideas of the spin-off and, more soberly, gradual disenchantment, as it sparked a smouldering debate of the show's continuing with standard sitcom humor or striking out with more socially relevant science-fiction plotlines.

Unfortunately, the producers largely held the show as “light fantasy” and trashed many intriguing and thoughtful Family Ties-grade scripts. Some of these ideas survived through writers who repackaged them in pieces of Twilight Zone and Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes with Lt. Data, who shares a few of Vicki's features.

Techie note: Yes, Vicki's power output should be just enough to jump-start a car. (See Vicki's Robot Powers).

Production Title: "The Grandparents"
Completed: 25-Oct-85/
Show no: 124
Written by Dick Christie, Tom Amundsen and David Ruprecht
Directed by Selig Frank
Produced by Bruce Taylor

Guest Cast:
Bill Lawson: Jack Manning
Martha Lawson: Peggy Converse


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